MANILA- Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria "Joma" Sison vowed on Wednesday to return to the Philippines dead or alive.
Sison made the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte urged him to come home, saying Sison will have his own space at the New Bilibid Prison.
"Someday I will return, physically or in ashes after my cremation but I always consider myself being in the Philippines," Sison said in an interview on ANC's "Early Edition."
"I am with the people. I have many comrades, friends in the Philippines so I don't really care when I shall be able to return to the Philippines," he added.
The exiled leader, who labeled himself as a "Filipino patriot," added that he has always considered himself as "being in the Philippines," given his ability to discuss the "demands of the people" online.
Duterte and Sison figured in a word war over the weekend after the latter shared unverified reports that the chief executive fell into a coma.
Malacañang and the President on Monday debunked claims that he is sick, and the latter appeared on a Facebook live video Monday night.
Sison responded by saying he is pleased that his former student is well, noting that he wants the President to live beyond 2022 so he can face the International Criminal Court for his alleged crimes against humanity arising from his anti-narcotics drive.